In House Cup Jeopardy, faculty comes out on top

For the first House Cup activity of the year, the Upper School Council held a Jeopardy game during X-period on Dec. 1.

Participating in the competition were five pairs of two: Dominik Polley and Kai Sia representing the ninth-graders, Will Black and Connor Overgaard representing the sophomores, Sila Liljedahl and Colin Will representing the juniors, James Montague and Will Sedo representing the seniors, and history teacher Nan Dreher and college counselor Evan Hancock representing the faculty. USC co-presidents Zekiah Juliusson and Sophie Cullen were announcers and judges of the game, Dean of Students Chantal Thornberry ran the board, and math teachers McKenna Shaw, Ethan Somes, and Lauren Bussey kept the score.

“The people [participating and leading the game] were really nice and informative, and it was fun
and being put with a friend instead of a random person [from another grade], which made it more comfortable and more fun,” said Sia.

The rules were simple: participants could not buzz in when the questions were being read, the first team that buzzed in got up to 20 seconds to respond, if a team responded incorrectly or did not ring within the time limit, the opportunity went to the next team, a correct answer earns the point value of the clue and the opportunity to select the next clue from the board and incorrect answers led to a decrease in points. The categories for the first Jeopardy rounds were Language, History, English, Math, and Science.

“I thought it was fun, though waiting until the question was asked to buzz in was kind of annoying. I thought overall the questions were pretty good difficulty, though they didn’t seem to always correlate with the point values they were assigned to. Sports was my favorite category,” Overgaard said.

Despite the guidelines being announced before the first round commenced, there was a dispute within the first few questions. When facing the question “How many minutes are in a year?” the faculty team used a calculator to ensure that they would be the first to give the accurate answer. Though initially, it went unacknowledged, fellow competitors brought it to the judges in hopes that their points would be revoked. However, Juliusson and Cullen determined that because it wasn’t explicitly referenced in the rule book, they would have to allow it.

“I think the faculty got free passes on some questions. For example, they said ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ for a question in the English category, but the book is called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Also, they used a calculator on a math question,” said Liljedahl.

The rest of the round went smoothly, and as the auditorium seats filled up, students and faculty members cheered on their grade-level representatives and showed their support. Following the contested calculator incident, Dreher and Hancock took a steep lead going into the second round. The categories for this double jeopardy round were Sports, Miscellaneous, Facilities, Arts, and Teacher Baby Photos.

Two teams went into the final-jeopardy round with negative points, while the faculty and sophomore teams stood at 2,900 and 100 points, giving them the opportunity to wager all their points on the line in hopes of a correct final answer. The pairs instead wagered 2,500 and 99 points.

The question to conclude the game was: “What year did St. Paul Academy merge with the Summit School?” Though Overgaard and Black answered correctly with the year 1969, they could not beat the faculty, who dominated much of the game.

With hopes of redeeming themselves, student viewers and participants look forward to the next House Cup event.